ARE you training for a marathon this year? Do you want some inside knowledge on how to get the best out of your training, or hints and tips to help you on the way?
Each week we will be bringing you the training diary of endurance sport specialist John Feeney.
He is writing a weekly schedule on topics covering everything from running physiology and training to choosing the right footwear, recovery and tapering.
For the final week, Feeney writes: Marathon fever will grip the city over the next week or so. By now, you’ll probably be feeling a mix excitement and apprehension which is perfectly normal and applies to first-timers, seasoned marathon runners and elite athletes alike.
So what can you do to help yourself over the next week and maximise the gains made during your training period?
On the Thursday prior to race day go for a nice easy run and try on your race kit. Make sure you cut off any labels or rough edges which may cause irritation to your skin over a prolonged period.
On Friday or Saturday before race day, collect your race number from the marathon exhibition.
Any training should be very light to allow full recovery and facilitate carbohydrate loading. Stick to familiar foods in the days prior to the marathon and think about your race strategy – when are you going to take on carbohydrate?
Do you know where the water stations are? Don’t over eat and spread your carbohydrate consumption over the whole day.
Get your kit ready the night before which will save you time in the morning. Make sure the pins for your running number avoid the most sensitive areas on your chest.
On race day, stick to your usual breakfast and avoid the temptation to over eat. Leave plenty of time to get to the start.
This will give you the opportunity to warm up which will help activate your aerobic system and spare muscle glycogen for later in the race. Remember to run your own race and maintain carbohydrate fuelling.
Don’t over-hydrate but aim to drink to thirst. Take advantage of water and sports drinks when they become available.
Finally, good luck and enjoy yourself – you are the star of the show.